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History > 20th century > USA > Civil rights era > Voting Rights Act        6 August 1965

 

 

 

 

A History of Voting Rights        25 June 2013

 

For much of the 20th century,

voting remained a contentious issue,

but the Supreme Court struck down Section 4

of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday,

suggesting that conditions have changed.

 

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/19qy1kg

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

 

YouTube > NYT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4XtZ-tIzIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Johnson and the Voting Rights Act of 1965        27 February 2013

 

President Johnson goes beyond the previous year's triumph of the Civil Rights Act

by pushing through legislative passage of the critical Voting Rights Act of 1965

that gave federal protection against voting discrimination to minority voters

in several targeted states throughout the country.

 

John Fitz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AN4NZSROvs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voting Rights Act        1965

 

On 6 August 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson

signed the Voting Rights Act into law,

calling the day ‘‘a triumph for freedom

as huge as any victory

that has ever been won on any battlefield’’

(Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’).

 

The law came seven months

after Martin Luther King

launched a Southern Christian

Leadership Conference (SCLC)

campaign based in Selma, Alabama,

with the aim of pressuring Congress

to pass such legislation.

 

‘‘In Selma,’’ King wrote,

‘‘we see a classic pattern

of disenfranchisement

typical of the Southern Black Belt areas

where Negroes are in the majority’’

(King, ‘‘Selma— The Shame and the Promise’’).

 

In addition to facing arbitrary

literacy tests and poll taxes,

African Americans in Selma

and other southern towns

were intimidated, harassed, and assaulted

when they sought to register to vote.

 

Civil rights activists

met with fierce resistance to their campaign,

which attracted national attention on 7 March 1965,

when civil rights workers were brutally attacked

by white law enforcement officers

on a march from Selma to Montgomery.

 

Johnson introduced

the Voting Rights Act that same month,

‘‘with the outrage of Selma still fresh’’

(Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’).

 

In just over four months,

Congress passed the bill.

 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished

literacy tests and poll taxes designed

to disenfranchise African American voters,

and gave the federal government the authority

to take over voter registration in counties

with a pattern of persistent discrimination.

 

‘‘This law covers many pages,’’

Johnson said before signing the bill,

‘‘but the heart of the act is plain.

 

Wherever, by clear and objective standards,

States and counties are using regulations,

or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote,

then they will be struck down’’

(Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’).

http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_voting_rights_act_1965/

 

 

 

 

By 1965 concerted efforts to break

the grip of state disfranchisement

had been under way for some time,

but had achieved only

modest success overall

and in some areas had proved

almost entirely ineffectual.

 

The murder

of voting-rights activists

in Philadelphia, Mississippi,

gained national attention,

along with numerous other acts

of violence and terrorism.

 

Finally,

the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965,

by state troopers on peaceful marchers crossing

the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama,

en route to the state capitol in Montgomery,

persuaded the President and Congress

to overcome Southern legislators' resistance

to effective voting rights legislation.

 

President Johnson

issued a call for a strong voting rights law

and hearings began soon thereafter on the bill

that would become the Voting Rights Act.

 

Congress determined

that the existing federal anti-discrimination laws

were not sufficient to overcome the resistance

by state officials to enforcement

of the 15th Amendment

 

[ In 1870

the 15th Amendment was ratified,

which provided specifically

that the right to vote shall not be denied

or abridged on the basis of race,

color or previous condition of servitude.

 

This superseded state laws

that had directly prohibited

black voting.

 

Congress then enacted

the Enforcement Act of 1870,

which contained criminal penalties

for interference with the right to vote,

and the Force Act of 1871,

which provided for federal election oversight ].

 

The legislative hearings showed

that the Department of Justice's efforts

to eliminate discriminatory election practices

by litigation on a case-by-case basis

had been unsuccessful in opening up

the registration process;

 

as soon as one discriminatory

practice or procedure

was proven to be

unconstitutional and enjoined,

a new one would be substituted in its place

and litigation would have to commence anew.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php

 

 

 

 

the formula Congress

devised in 1965 (...)

required all or parts

of 16 states with long histories

of overt racial discrimination in voting,

most in the South,

to get approval

from the federal government

for any proposed change

to their voting laws.

 

This process,

known as preclearance,

stopped hundreds of discriminatory

new laws from taking effect,

and deterred lawmakers

from introducing countless more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/opinion/sunday/voting-rights-by-the-numbers.html

 

 

 

 

Signed on Aug. 6, 1965,

it was meant to correct

“a clear and simple wrong,”

as Lyndon Johnson said.

 

“Millions of Americans are denied

the right to vote because of their color.

 

This law will ensure them

the right to vote.”

 

It eliminated literacy tests

and other Jim Crow tactics,

and — in a key provision called Section 5 —

required North Carolina and six other states

with histories of black disenfranchisement

to submit any future change

in statewide voting law,

no matter how small, for approval

by federal authorities in Washington.

 

No longer would the states

be able to invent clever new ways

to suppress the vote.

 

Johnson called the legislation

“one of the most monumental laws

in the entire history of American freedom,”

and not without justification.

 

By 1968, just three years

after the Voting Rights Act became law,

black registration had increased

substantially across the South,

to 62 percent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/
magazine/voting-rights-act-dream-undone.html

 

 

 

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/voting-rights-act

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro_b.php

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/sec_5/about.php

http://www.justice.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro.php

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=100

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=100&page=transcript

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/statutes.asp

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/voting_rights_1965.asp

http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp/civilrightsera/ExhibitObjects/VotingRightsAct1965.aspx

http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/v/voting_rights_act_1965/index.html

http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_voting_rights_act_1965/

http://www.documentary-video.com/resources/documents/147.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/studentnews/02/04/one.sheet.right.to.vote/index.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/28/
opinion/the-retreat-from-voting-rights.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/
opinion/suppress-votes-id-rather-lose-my-job.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/us/
amelia-boynton-robinson-a-pivotal-figure-at-the-selma-march-dies-at-104.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/
books/review/give-us-the-ballot-by-ari-berman.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/
magazine/president-obamas-letter-to-the-editor.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/07/
opinion/the-real-voter-fraud-is-texas-id-law.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/06/
opinion/why-the-voting-rights-act-is-once-again-under-threat.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/
magazine/whats-left-of-the-voting-rights-act.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/
magazine/voting-rights-act-dream-undone.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/
opinion/sunday/voting-rights-by-the-numbers.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/
opinion/sunday/birth-of-a-freedom-anthem.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/
supreme-court-ruling.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/26/us/
25scotus-voting-rights-decision.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/25/us/
annotated-supreme-court-decision-on-voting-rights-act.html

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/
opinion/29wed2.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-07-20-
votingrights_x.htm

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/
news/releases/2006/07/20060727.html - July 27, 2006

 

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/06/30/us/
voting-rights-act-signed-by-reagan.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Brief History of the Black Vote

(Up to the Voting Rights Act)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/
magazine/voting-rights-act-dream-undone.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A More Perfect Union        Story Corps        30 June 2015

 

 

 

 

A More Perfect Union        Story Corps        30 June 2015

 

When Theresa Burroughs came of voting age,

she was ready to cast her ballot—but she had a long fight ahead of her.

 

During the Jim Crow era,

the board of registrars at Alabama's Hale County Courthouse

prevented African Americans from registering to vote.

 

Undeterred, Theresa remembers venturing to the courthouse

on the first and third Monday of each month, in pursuit of her right to vote.

 

Directed by: The Rauch Brothers

Art Direction: Bill Wray

Producers: Lizzie Jacobs, Maya Millett & Mike Rauch

Animation: Tim Rauch

Audio Produced by: Nadia Reiman & Katie Simon

Music: Fredrik

Label: The Kora Records

Publisher: House of Hassle

 

Funding Provided by:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

In partnership with POV.

 

YouTube > Story Corps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA87JWa0bEw

 

Related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVirtwZzJ2Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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